Leaders heed Commonwealth Conversation findingsPosted by AlexT - 30/11/09 at 05:11 pm
In a closing statement from the Port of Spain Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) yesterday, Commonwealth leaders recognised the work carried out by the Royal Commonwealth Society in the Commonwealth Conversation and called for the creation of an Eminent Persons’ Group to look at options for reform.
The Commonwealth Conversation is a global public consultation on the future of the Commonwealth which, so far, has engaged tens of thousands of people worldwide. Emerging findings were published last week ahead of the CHOGM in a report entitled ‘Common What?’. The report called for the Commonwealth to be bold in rebuilding its worryingly low profile, by focusing on three Ps: Principles, Priorities and People.
In the Trinidad & Tobago Affirmation on Commonwealth Values and Principles released yesterday, leaders took note of many of the major findings of the Conversation:
• They recognised the need to ‘enhance the public profile of the organisation’ and underscored ‘the importance of coherence in order to protect the Commonwealth’s image and credibility’.
• They restated the core values and principles of the Commonwealth, recognised the vital role of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) as their custodian, and called on CMAG ‘to explore ways in which it could effectively deal with the full range of serious or persistent violations of such values by member states’.
• They called for the Commonwealth Secretary-General to ‘consolidate and further strengthen ongoing efforts to improve the Secretariat’s governance [and] its responsiveness to changing priorities and needs’.
• They recognised the importance of the people in the Commonwealth and they ‘committed to securing a greater level of coordination and collaboration between all Commonwealth contributors and stake-holders, particularly including governments, civil society, business, the diversity of commonwealth professional and other associations that bring together our citizens, academia and others’.